Sunderland 5k Thursday 20th July 2023 – Report by Ken Smith 

The Northern Athletics 5k was again included within this event, and it provided another  competitive race on the paths of Silksworth. There are 2 races, one female, one male, but the success of this event, with over 400 entries, meant the male Vet 50 age group started with the women. This still gave over 200 entries in each race.

After sunshine all day, there was a heavy downpour just before the first race, but Referee, Archie Jenkins, had the first race away on time. The leading group of 4 women had already established a lead as they passed the finish for the first time, encouraged by the waiting crowd of supporters.

Next time the lead bike was seen it was approaching the finish and Sophie Pikett, Elswick Harriers has a clear lead. She was followed some 21 seconds later by Esme Davies, Border Harriers, with Shona Haston, Gateshead Harriers 18 seconds behind her. The Sale Harrier Helen Warburton was fourth. The team race was always going to be close, but the winning team was Gateshead, followed by North Shields Poly, with Tyne Bridge in 3rd place,

Men’s Race.

To ensure an incident free start the fastest athletes were at the front and this worked on the narrow downhill paths just after the start. The Blue Morpeth vests were prominent at the front as the passed the finish, and with 5 finishers in the top ten Morpeth dominated the race from start to finish.

It was Dan Dixon who finished 1st followed by club colleague William De Vere Owen, with Houghton Harrier Chris Coulson just squeezing out Morpeth’s Sam Hancox for 3rd place by just 1 second.

The team race was never in doubt with Morpeth having 3 in the top 4, but it was host club Sunderland that were 2nd, ahead of Gateshead.



1st Sophie Pikett  Elswick Harriers    16.41

2nd Esme Davies  Border Harriers     17.02

3rd Shona Haston Gateshead             17.20


1 Gateshead Harriers          41 points

2 North Shields Poly A.C.     50 points

3 Tyne Bridge Harriers         63 points


1st Dan Dixon            Morpeth Harriers                  14.35

2nd William De Vere Owen   Morpeth Harriers   14.50

3rd Chris Coulson      Houghton Harriers               14.52


1 Morpeth    Harriers     7 points

2 Sunderland Harriers    52 points

3 Gateshead Harriers      58 points

Photos by Eileen Ingham